ISLAMABAD-The federal capital due to increasing number of vehicles and population has been facing record serious levels of pollutants in the air.

The Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data has revealed the highest ratio of suspended particulate matter of 2.5 microns commonly known as PM2.5.

On November 12, the PM 2.5 was recorded 90.05 micrograms per meter cube (mg/m³) whereas the US Air Quality Index (AQI) as per the above reading was 169 which was unhealthy for people including sensitive groups with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children mostly at risk.

However, the ambient air quality of the federal capital on November 13 was recorded unhealthy that increased health risks for sensitive groups.

The hazardous pollutants of particulate matter of 2.5 microns have exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) as the ambient air quality in the federal capital was recorded worse.

The pollution level comprising PM2.5 exceeded the permissible ratio of 35 micrograms per cubic meter (mg/m³) which was recorded 51.72mg/m³, in the federal capital after repeated highest ratio of PM2.5.

World Health Organization (WHO) in its reports have claimed air pollution to cause huge number of premature deaths.

PM 2.5 has been found hazardous pollutant which could penetrate into human blood through lungs cells.

The daily ambient air quality report of the federal capital by EPA, the 24 hours average ratio of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) were 31.25 micrograms per cubic meter (mg/ m³) and 24.44 mg/m³ respectively against the respective National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) of 80 mg/m³ and 120mg/m³.

The data was recorded by calibrated air quality monitors fixed at particular positions with proper readings. However, concentrations of PM2.5 during the day and evening times were recorded slightly high, whereas, the overall ambient air quality of the federal capital was not healthier this day.

Any other data from any source presenting ambient air quality of Islamabad was neither verified nor approved by the PAK-EPA, the report said.

However, the air quality index (AQI) developed by AirNow states such level of PM2.5 pollution was considered to be dangerous for sensitive groups that include people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children were among the groups at risk.

According to AQI health effects statements, increasing likelihood of respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals, aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly could occur in case exposure in unhealthy with the above mentioned pollutant ratio.

Moreover, the general public as per the advisories under AQI especially people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged exertion.

EPA official told that the record highest pollutant ratio was mainly due to increased humidity, less temperature and zero rainfall in the duration which suspended the pollutants emitted from vehicles and open garbage burning into the ambience.